View Full Version : New TV documentary: "The Master: Masamune: Samurai Sword Master" Watch on 11/15/04!
11-14-2004, 07:47 PM
For those of you who have the History International channel, there is going to be a new Almanac episode on the swords of Masamune shown on Monday, Nov. 15th. It has never been aired before.
Here is the information. I know this will air in the US, but you should check your listings in other countries to see if it will air there too.
From Yahoo! TV page:
HISI Nov 15 7:00pm Central Time, 8pm Eastern Time on the same evening.
Series/Documentary, 60 Mins.
"The Master: Masamune: Samurai Sword Master"
Samurai swordsmith Masamune's rare and valuable works; creation of a new sword.
Original Airdate: November 15, 2004.
It will be shown again at 11pm Central Time, 12am Eastern Time.
11-14-2004, 08:09 PM
Thanks Carolyn..I'll have to check it out. Hopefully they will have some good shots of Masamune blades.
11-14-2004, 08:23 PM
You're welcome! :)
Yeah, I hope so too. I've never even seen one! I hope this is good program.
11-15-2004, 05:53 PM
oops posted in error.
11-15-2004, 07:04 PM
Good God, they dug up Hoshino for it. Sure wish they could have taught the narrator some Japanese pronunciation too. Some good stuff though.
11-15-2004, 11:13 PM
Ya know, the producers contacted a friend of mine. He gave them a ton of references of people to talk to -- all top notch. They didn't contact any of them. And Hoshino certainly wouldn't be on any list of people to talk to unless you're doing a special on delusional behavior... Why the hell did they get a total whackjob like him? It makes you not want to trust anything else they say. And any other program they do in the same series. I don't know diddly about castle building but the program on later I sat there wondering if each fella was another version of Hoshino...
Amazing. Some cool stuff. And then there's Hoshino...
11-15-2004, 11:53 PM
I just finished watching it. I've never seen Hoshino before, but heard about him here, and now I really wish they didn't pick him for this program. What the heck was with that red belt he had on?? And, I'm not an Iaidoka, but his sword work looked bad to me. Or, am I seeing things? It just... didn't look like anything like what I have seen Dr. Friday do on that one Samurai documentary he was on. That was just excellent stuff, but this? It was IMHO, not good. They could have picked better people! And, I want to know why on earth did they pick those two guys doing the kata? That wasn't very good either.
The sword making parts were really interesting. I know almost nothing about that, so I don't know how much was good, but it looked good to me, anyway. I had no idea polishing a sword was such a hard thing to do. I always wondered how it was done. And, I knew a little about cleaning a sword, but never saw it before in detail. Wow, you have to be so careful! And, polishing a sword looks dangerous! :D
Soulend-san, you're right. The pronunciation was awful half the time. Samyoorai? Aheedo? They REALLY butchered the pronuciation of Iaido! Poor guy... It makes you feel sorry for him.
The best and only good sword demo was the Kendo segment. VERY cool, and GOOD. There were some nice Kakari-geiko and kirikaeshi waza shown. And, it was nice how they showed a class doing suburi. At least they chose decent and very good Kenshi for that. Though, the "kendo" segment after the real Kendo dojo part, IMHO, was awful! They should have just left that out. I think they were trying to show Kenjutsuka doing shiai, but it just looked foolish. Too bad they didn't use the list of contacts your friend gave them, kdlarman-san. Oh well. I was happy to get to see some good Kendo and learn more about sword making, cleaning, and polishing though! :)
11-15-2004, 11:57 PM
Sorry for the double post guys. I was trying to edit, and ended up somehow managing to create another post. Could a moderator please delete the first of the double post please? No sense in wasting space. :) Thank you!
11-16-2004, 08:32 AM
The parts with the sword smith and polisher were pretty cool, but I was very disappointed with everything else! All the martial arts demo's, with the exception of the kendo were very bad IMO. I also though a lot of the information that was given out was wronge or incomplete at best (e.g. the many folded layers of a sword make it extremly string like a mesh) They made it seem like Masamune was the first smith to put a hamon on a sword. If I remember correctly his big contribution to sword smithing was being the first Japanese smith to temper a blade after it was hardend to make the blade less brittle. The show also implied that Masamune was best smith ever. But weren't his top students said to have been even better than he was?
Someone please correct me if I am wronge.
11-16-2004, 09:49 AM
I caught the part about the "mesh" too. Though I know little of smithing, it was my understanding that the folding increasing the strength thing is a myth, and that the steel was folded to remove impurities, as the tamehagane they used was loaded with them.
11-16-2004, 10:19 AM
As I understand it, the folding homogenizes the steel and helps adjust the carbon content. I'm sure Dan or somebody else more knowledgable can expand on that.
11-16-2004, 11:17 AM
FWIW the mesh stuff is a load of BS. Folding is to get the carbon consistent but also help distribute trace elements. And the skillful smith uses the fold/weld process to also get the carbon level at the absolute level they want. Some fold more, some fold less. So you'd better start with a stack of stuff that averages out to appropriate level when you begin to compensate for the carbon that ends up flaking out during forge welding... So it is pretty involved. And each part of a composite construction sword usually is done completely differently from the next. So more layers, fewer layers, higher carbon, lower carbon, etc.
Masamune was purportedly the first to do post quench stress relieving in the Japanese tradition.
Who was the best generates a of good discussion over wine, but there really isn't an answer to the question. But... Masamune was one of the greats. And in part it was due to his influence over so many after him that some put him at the top. His work itself may or may not be the greatest, but his influence is undeniably the greatest. If he isn't the greatest overall then some would argue one of his direct students probably was. So it all depends on how you choose to frame the question.
The polisher (Fujishiro I think -- I was getting sleepy) was top notch obviously. And Yoshimitsu Ono is probably one of the best tosho alive right now in the tradition. The rest... Downright stupid most of the time. Did anyone else notice Hoshino's wakizashi with the gigantic tsuka? And notice that the swords of his they showed were all for the most part horrid looking in fit, finish and mounting?
I'm still fuming... It could have been a decent program. And I can ignore some of the more "poetic" ideas like the mesh stuff, but having a guy who has been banned from all the major sword shows to explain and demonstrate the martial connection... It just blows the whole thing for me. And I recorded it to DVD... What a waste of plastic...
11-16-2004, 03:19 PM
You mean you expected a tv programme to be good/accurate??? Anything they make seems to be a glossed over 'Joe Public' view of what they think it should be like. Expect more like it with the current interest in sword stuff...
My tv only gets used nowadays to watch MJER videos, and some old NHK MA and tsuba making videos I came across awhile ago..
11-17-2004, 06:22 AM
The thing that really got me fuming was that two hours later there was an episode in the same series on the history and innovation of Plate Armour. They did there very best to dispel all the myths and mis-conceptions about plate amour, yet they perpetuated all the bogus info out there about the katana.
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.